Throughout history, Art has been inspired by human achievements big and small. From the incredible Apollo 11 moon landings to the historic ancient Egyptian Mummy discoveries, discover for yourself our top selection of October shows from across the world.

I Learnt to Love Myself, Blackburn, Christabel / Private Collection

Don’t Miss! New Works by Christabel Blackburn

Until 5th October
Alex Eagle Studio, Lexington, London

London based artist Christabel Blackburn studied Classics at Newcastle University. Eager to explore her artistic talent, she spent a year in Florence at Charles Cecil Studios learning traditional drawing and sculpting techniques. She then went on to study for two years at the London Atelier of Representational Art where she learnt to paint and continued to develop her skills in sculpting.

Christabel’s most recent series explores the relationship between ourselves and our surroundings. With photographic stillness, her paintings capture moments experienced in everyday life, from a street scene to a lone figure in an art gallery. Christabel has an instinctive and innate ability to convey the psyche of her subject matter without facial expression, by stripping back and using minimal information, allowing the viewer to exchange places with the figure, becoming part of the painting itself. Christabel finds solace, space and quiet in these situations in an increasingly busy and fast paced city, and it is these moments of stillness she seeks to encapsulate in her paintings.

Credit: Untitled, 1988 (acrylic on canvas), McLean, Bruce (b.1944) / Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire, UK

Frieze London

3rd – 6th October
Regent’s Park, London

As always, the Frieze presents a wide variety of artists, talks and events over three days. The curated programme includes Frieze Artist Award, presenting new, site-specific works by contemporary artists. Highlights include the 2019 Frieze Artist award which goes to Himali Singh Soin. Singh Soin works with film, using nature and the environment to explore cosmological metaphors. Soin’s commission is the first time the award has focused on the medium of film. The artist’s metaphorical use of ice is particularly apt given the polarising discussions currently surrounding the global climate crisis.

Bruce McLean: Works on Paper

Until 10th October – Don’t Miss It
Brook Gallery, Devon

Contemporary artist Bruce McLean celebrates with his partner Angela and the Brook Gallery team for the launch of his brand new exhibition at Brook Gallery. Works on paper and ceramics are included.

American Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin walking on the moon on July 20, 1969 during Apollo 11 mission

Fly Me To The Moon

Until 3 November Museum der Moderne Salzburg Rupertinum, Salzburg, Austria

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings, this exhibition surveys man’s relationship to the moon from Galileo’s first telescope to modern-day space exploration. The exhibition achieves this by delving into artistic representations of the moon through the ages, but places a special emphasis on the 20th century. There will be a variety of paintings, prints, photography, video art and installations.

Credit: Black Gold, 2011 (oil on linen), Campbell, Rebecca / Private Collection / Courtesy of Brian Sinfield Gallery, Burford / Bridgeman Images


Until 9th of November
Beaux Arts Bath, Bath BA1 1NG

A Collection of 14 paintings from our beloved Studio Artist Rebecca Campbell celebrating the beauty and wonder of trees.

American artist Keith Haring (1958-1990) in 1989. Pisa Italy / Photo © Marcello Mencarini

Keith Haring

Until 10 November Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England

With his ear to the ground of New York street culture, Keith Haring’s work references graffiti, pop art and club culture – especially hip-hop. This is evident in his huge versatility as an artist, designing album covers for RUN DMC as well as collaborating with punk fashion trailblazers, Malcom McLaren and Vienne Westwood. He also made his images visible in support of political crusades against homophobia, racism and political dictatorships. His art also responded to important issues affecting the streets of New York, such as drug addiction and AIDS. This exhibition brings together each of these strands, including monumental decorative paintings as well as his more politically motivated posters. There are a number of other contemporary artifacts that help to capture the zeitgeist of 1980s New York.

Untitled, 1989 (oil on canvas), Oehlen, Albert (b.1954) / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images

Eileen Cooper: Personal Space

16th October – 16th November 2019
Huxley Palour Gallery, London

Bridgeman are excited to announce that Eileen Cooper will be exhibiting 15 new works at the Huxley-Parlour Gallery, London. Fusing objective drawing from life, a new part of her practice, with the instantly recognisable, passionate and imaginative works she is known for, this exhibition is not to be missed.

The Ritual, 2019 (oil on canvas), Photo © Eileen Cooper RA

Albert Oehlen

2 October – 12 January 2020 Serpentine Gallery, London

Albert Oehlen (b. 1954, Krefeld, Germany) is one of the most innovative and significant artists working today. He has been a key figure in contemporary art since the 1980s and the diversity of his painting is a testament to the intrinsic freedom that remains at the heart of the medium. Through expressionist brushwork, surrealist gestures and deliberate amateurism, he engages with the history of painting, pushing its essential components to bold new extremes.

St. John the Baptist, 1513-16 (oil on canvas), Vinci, Leonardo da (1452-1519) / Louvre, Paris, France

Leonardo da Vinci

24 October – 1 January 2020 Musee du Lovre, Paris, France

To mark the 500-year anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the Louvre is hosting a significant retrospective that places special emphasis on Leonardo as a painter – indeed the Louvre holds the world’s largest collection of his painted works. See his best known works such as The Virgin of the Rocks and St John the Baptist alongside recently conserved examples that offer an insight into the painted construction of his works.

Derek Jarman (1942 – 1994), British director, scenarist, actor, director of photography and editor

Derek Jarman PROTEST!

23 October – 1 January 2020 Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland

PROTEST! is a major retrospective of Derek Jarman’s hugely varied artistic output. Jarman was trained as a painter, a discipline he continued to practice throughout his life alongside filmmaking, sculpture, writing and even gardening.  He is described as a ‘true renaissance man’ with forays into political activism characterised by his queer agit-prop works. This exhibition seeks to bring together all the rich seams of Jarman’s work in a comprehensive retrospective. 

Venus, 1532 (oil and tempera on red beechwood), Cranach, Lucas, the Elder (1472-1553) / Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany

Lucas Cranach: Renaissance Beauties

26 September – 5 January 2020 Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland

This is Finland’s first monographic exhibition devoted to Lucas Cranach the Elder’s (1472 – 1553) work. The German Renaissance painter is renowned for his mercurial female depictions – a theme on which Renaissance Beauties focuses – whether they be portraits of his contemporaries, or works of an allegorical or mythological subject matter.

Daniel and the Lions Den, c.1615 (oil on canvas), Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640) / National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA

Early Rubens

12 October – 5 January 2020 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

1609 – 1621 were Peter Paul Rubens’ formative years as an artist and provided some of his most dramatic and arresting work, forming a cornerstone of Baroque history painting. These often harrowing works tie into Rubens’ time living and working in his hometown of Antwerp, which was only just recovering from decades of religious warfare. This trauma bled into his work, best displayed in The Massacre of the Innocents (1610). Visiting this exhibition will lend an appreciation for Rubens’ foundations as an artist and will also provide a contextual backdrop to his work from this period.

The Last of England, 1852-55 (oil on panel), Brown, Ford Madox (1821-93) / Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Victorian Radicals: from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement

11 October – 5 January 2020 San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, USA

Using artworks from the City of Birmingham, Victorian Radicals plots the development of British art and design throughout the second half of the 19th century. Characterised by the writings of Pugin and Ruskin, the late 19th century saw a revived interest in medieval art and culture in rebellion both against the rigid classicism prescribed by the art establishment as well as the perceived social and cultural casualties at the hands of Britain’s rapid industrialisation. This exhibition includes – among many other works – important pieces by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood that serve as a moral counterpoint to contemporary Britain, as well as designs by William Morris that call into question the relationship between craftsman and mass-manufacturing.   

David Hockney, San Francisco, 2001 (b/w photo) / Photo © Chris Felver

We Two Boys: Early Works by Alan Davie and David Hockney

19 October – 19 January 2020 Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, England

David Hockney attended Alan Davie’s 1958 one-man show at the Wakefield Art Gallery – something that proved pivotal to Hockney’s own artistic development into abstracted, non-representational painting – a shift that Davie himself had made earlier. By exhibiting these two post-war British artists side by side we can see the various similarities in style from their route into both total and partial abstraction as well as their responses to 1960s counter culture and how this affected changes in how art was consumed.

The Listening Housewife, 1655 (oil on panel), Maes, Nicolaes (1634-93) / Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2019

Nicholas Maes – Rembrandt’s Versatile Pupil

17 October – 19 January 2020 Mauritshuis, The Hague, The Netherlands

A major retrospective of the Dutch painter Nicholas Maes in conclusion to the Mauritshuis’ Rembrandt & the Golden Age year. Maes was one of Rembrandt’s most talented and successful pupils and one with a varied career trajectory. This exhibition explores this, with examples of his early biblical works, as well as his immensely famous genre paintings. His ‘eavesdroppers’ are the best known examples of these and a definite highlight. We are also presented with his most commercially successful works, this time as a portraitist. They are examples of material exuberance and painterly bravado with rich palettes and luxuriant drapery.  

An Italian maiden mending nets on the Bay of Naples, 1872 (oil on canvas), Jerichau-Baumann, Elisabeth Maria Anna (1819-1881)

Fighting for Visibility: Women Artists in the Nationalgalerie Before 1919

11 October – 26 January 2020 Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

Fighting for Visibility provides the first in-depth exhibition devoted entirely to the female produced artworks in Berlin’s Nationalgalerie from before 1919. The mid-19th century German art establishment stifled exposure for female artists – something this exhibition seeks to rectify by exhibiting painting and sculpture by women, therefore highlighting their “fight for visibility”. The exhibition puts the limelight on works that have never been shown in a major exhibition before, as well as pieces by artists that enjoyed contemporary acclaim but have subsequently descended into obscurity.

Désiré Dihau Reading a Newspaper in the Garden (Désiré Dihau, lecture d’un journal dans le jardin), by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1890, 19th Century, oil on canvas, 56 x 45 cm, Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de (1864-1901) / Musee Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi, France / Mondadori Portfolio/Walter Mori

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

9 October – 27 January 2020 Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, France

This exhibition sets out its stall to re-evaluate the perhaps narrow perception of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work as merely a visual recorder of the decadence and excess of the ‘culture of Montmartre’. The alternative position put forward here is that Toulouse-Lautrec inhabits a wider place in art history as both a wry social commentator and a precursor to 20th century avant-guarde movements.

 Cartonnage case of Shepenmut, Priestess of Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, c.900 BC (painted plaster), Egyptian 22nd Dynasty (945-715 BC) / Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, Devon

Egyptian Mummies

Until 2 February 2020 Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montreal, Canada

The British Museum’s travelling exhibition makes its first stop in North America at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. This exhibition of six Egyptian mummies from 900BC to 180AD seeks to reconstruct their lives through technology. Scientific analysis of the mummies tells us of who these individuals were and what kinds of lives they led, from their age and health through to their religion and profession. A collection of two hundred artifacts help to illustrate this further in a perfect symbiosis of art and science.

Credit: Salvador Dali May 10, 1965 (b/w photo) / Photo © AGIP / Bridgeman Images

Dalí and Magritte: Two Icons of Surrealism in Dialogue

11 October – 9 February 2020 Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium

To mark the 90th anniversary of the meeting of Salvador Dalí and René Magritte in 1929, the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique present the first ever dual exhibition showing the two artists together, whilst exploring their similarities, both artistically and philosophically. At the vanguard of Surrealism, these two artists’ works take on subjects at the very essence of our experience as humans. The works on show, including more than 80 paintings, photographs and sculptures will explore the unconscious mind, sex, violence and the twilight between reality and illusion.

Sor Aqua (Venetian), 1973 (wood, metal, rope, glass jug & water-filled bathtub), Rauschenberg, Robert (1925-2008) / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA / Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Foundation 

Mud Muses

12 October – 16 February 2020 Moderna Museet, Stokholm, Sweden

This conceptual exhibition muses us, humans, and our relationship with technology through the medium of 20th century contemporary art. The central question posed is about whether humans can understand our world of technology as we lack the capability to be wholly objective about the matter due to our inability to imagine a world without it. The exhibition takes its title from Rauschenberg’s installation of the same name and features work by Nikola Bojić, Ian Cheung and Robert Rauschenberg himself, as well as numerous others.

Buddha cutting a tuft of hair, Tibetan temple banner, Tibetan School (18th century) / Musee Guimet, Paris, France


25 October – 23 February 2020 The British Library, London, England

The British Library explores the art of Buddhism from its 6th century Indian conception, right through to its current state as a religion with 500 million global followers. It achieves this with a host of artifacts both ancient and modern, from scrolls of sacred text to contemporary art from Hong Kong and South-East Asia. The exhibition doesn’t seek merely to display works purely for their aesthetic value, but to provide a temple inspired gallery space and an atmosphere conducive to understanding Buddhism as a faith. This is achieved by charting the life of Buddha as well as showing domestic devotional objects that offer insight into the daily relationship between art and the Buddhist religion.

Want more shows and exhibitions?

Discover our September Highlights

August Exhibitions & Shows